Occupancy Period When Buying a New Build Condo

Overview of Process  When a consumer purchases a new condominium unit in Ontario and they move into the unit, they are unaware that condominium ownership is a two-part phase. In Ontario there are two closings when consumers are purchasing a new unit in a condominium: The Interim Closing – during this phase, the consumer will occupy (“Occupancy”) the unit that may be suited for habitation but does not hold title of the unit; The Final Closing – during this phase, the title or ownership will be transferred from the builder to the consumer/purchaser.  The Occupancy period (the time between Occupancy ...
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/ Real Estate

Title Insurance

Importance of Title Insurance The term ‘title’ refers to an individual’s legal ownership of a property. Title Insurance is simply an insurance policy that is meant to protect residential and/or commercial property owners against any losses related to the property’s title or ownership, including their lenders. While Title Insurance has not been deemed as a requirement in Ontario, individuals will seek to order Title Insurance when purchasing a home. A Title Insurance policy may provide home buyers protection from losses such as: Title defects that are unknown and may prevent home buyers from having clear ownership of the property Any ...
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/ Real Estate

Franchises: Pros and Cons

Overview of Franchising Franchising is a method of distributing products and services based on a brand and customer recognition. Among other things, a franchisor will grant a license to a franchisee for the use of the trademark or the trade name for a specific fee. The franchisee is then able to use the franchisor’s business name and the operating system to set up their business. The franchisee is required to pay the franchisor a specific amount, better known as royalty, which is usually based on the sales of the business. Typically, the franchisor will draft a franchise agreement to be ...
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/ Business Law, Franchise Law

Canada Revenue Agency Dispute?

No one likes taxes, but completing your annual tax return is an unavoidable part of life. Once you file your tax return with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), the process doesn’t stop there. The CRA will conduct an evaluation and then send you a Notice of Assessment or Reassessment.A Notice of Reassessment is a document that the CRA will send if they disagree with what you reported on your tax return. It will tell you how much tax you owe as a result of the reassessment. What happens if you disagree with the CRA’s assessment, and is there anything you ...
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/ Business Law, Tax Law

Partner & Shareholder Disputes

Two of the major differences between operating as a corporation versus other types of business entities (such as a sole proprietorship or partnership), are that the corporation is a separate legal entity or “person” under the law, owned by individuals known as shareholders, who own the corporation through corporation shares.  As a result, the shareholders and the corporation they own are separate and distinct from each other in terms of ownership of assets, taxes, and legal status. Corporations can have many shareholders and I find that multiple individuals are forming companies and/or “partnering” together more often than in the past ...
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/ Business Law

Commercial Leases

Many businesses enter into lease agreements without professional advice.  The moment you sign a commercial lease agreement, you have most likely made a long term commitment with a variety of obligations and demands – both monetary and otherwise. Many clients I meet do not realize the gravity of the agreement they are entering into. For some, they think of it as a monthly fee, others think they can just get out of it, or leave the premises without legal consequences or implications. However, when I explain the agreement they have just entered into from a high level, their view on ...
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/ Business Law, Leases, Real Estate

Shareholder Agreements

A shareholder agreement is first and foremost a contract which must be in writing and must be signed by the shareholders who are party to it. Shareholder agreements are a class of contracts that relate specifically to the relationship between some or all of the shareholders of a corporation and, often (although not necessarily), between those parties and the corporation. While shareholder agreements are specific to each company and its shareholders, most of these documents deal with the same basic issues. When Should a Shareholder Agreement be executed? It is always best to implement a shareholder agreement from the beginning ...
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/ Business Law

Do I need a Minute Book?

I tend to meet new clients that have incorporated their business but are unaware of their corporate law responsibilities. Although incorporating is usually the most preferable business structure, one must remember that once you incorporate, you have entered a new domain of laws and obligations. One such obligation is a minute book. Under Section 20 of the Canada Business Corporations Act and Section 140 of the Ontario Business Corporations Act, a corporation must keep certain corporate records at its registered office. A minute book is a binder which includes documents that are relevant to the creation, organization, and ongoing business affairs of your corporation. Upon request, ...
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/ Business Law

Should I Incorporate?

AN OVERVIEW OF INCORPORATION What is a Corporation? A corporation is a separate legal entity that exists independently from its owners (the shareholders). A corporation has the capacity, rights, powers and privileges of a natural person, so that it can carry on business, own property, borrow money, possess rights and incur liabilities. Commercial activity is generally carried on through a corporation to limit liability. A corporation is created when the company complies with the appropriate municipal, provincial, territorial or federal business licensing requirements, and completes the necessary registration requirements under the Ontario Business Corporations Act (the “OBCA”) or a similar ...
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/ Business Law

Multiple Wills

Although you may already have a will, drafting up a second will containing the shares of your private company is a method to convey those shares to beneficiaries without your estate having to pay Estate Administration Tax. Granovksy Estate v. Ontario, 1998 approved the usage of multiple wills in Ontario as a means of probate planning. Greer J held that there was no legislative prohibition against the court to issue a primary will nor any requirement which required an estate trustee to submit a secondary will and pay estate administration tax on the value of assets governed by it. The appeal ...
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/ Estate Planning, Wills